Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
I am the Director of Education Outreach for the Center for Urban Resiliency at Loyola Marymount University. My current university research has been on Aeolian Transport sand movement in dune formation and quantifying microplastics found in beach sediments through density separation. Other work is in mobility and green infrastructure at the urban-coastal interface.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I began teaching as a way to bring joy back into the classroom experience. Then I found a love for field science experiences provided through teacher training. In realizing how few quality experiences there are for teachers, I moved into professional development and curriculum design.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
Scientists and personal mentors inspired me by the passion in their work and their continuous drive to improve what they see around them. This connects to my love for making things better than I find them. Such passion is infectious. I am continuously curious and to be surrounded by like-minded folks is most fulfilling.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I am fascinated by working with others to draw out the puzzle that keeps them up at night. I end up engaged in that same puzzle and strive to contribute to the solution. Similarly, when I'm faced with a Herculean task, I prefer to work in a group to brainstorm approaches and be able to report back on how each transpired. There's a give-and-take in the development of something new that is far greater than what I could do alone. I'm amazed at how a short conversation with someone can unlock so many ideas that previously were unattainable.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
My career has been a very organic pathway. I started as a choreographer. When I became injured, I moved into K-12 teaching. After a summer program with UCLA, my teaching increasingly focused on science and math. I left traditional teaching to work for that UCLA program, which took me on a path of policy development at the state and national level, administration, teaching at the university level and consulting. Recently, I returned for a degree in environmental science, which took me into research and service to community organizations and agency with a focus on mobility and green infrastructure. I am now looking to create meaningful training and workforce development experiences in the environmental compliance and sustainability sector.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Bennington College, VT),
Masters of Education (Pepperdine University),
Doctorate in Educational Technology (Pepperdine University),
Masters of Environmental Science - Urban Ecology (Loyola Marymount University)
Certifications: teaching and administrative credentials, language development specialist, national board certification, first aid/CPR, environmental specialist (ENV SP), lead and asbestos, NAUI, PADI advanced diver and debris
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy sailing. I live on a cruising sailboat and race an 11-meter as bowman, trimmer, and driver. I enjoy the magic of cooking, playing a bit of "chopped" with mystery ingredients found in the fridge or making my own cocktails, infusions, and mixes. To relax, I enjoy going to museums, shows and concerts, dancing, and reading historical novels.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Well, that's a tough one because I have changed course a few times. I guess the lesson is to leap into the passion in front of you. Don't wait - take advantage of all the world presents and inhale it fully. When the path has run its course, see it and listen. Hanging onto something too long is like making a dish with wilted / old ingredients. It'll taste ok, but all the nutrients are gone and spices are needed to mask what's truly there. That's expensive and just not worth it.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I applied to the OET program after hearing about their at-sea programs through OceanList.